Before Paying Big Bucks, Here Are Some Neat Household Hacks To Try

By Doreen R

A hack, whether it be for home, work, or leisure, is the known buzzword for getting through life’s more aggravating tasks in a hassle-free and imaginative way.  One can’t help but notice how even complicated projects, such as keeping cables in order, don’t necessarily require a Ph.D. or a paid professional. We’re about to see how everyday items in our vicinity can solve many of life’s annoyances. The great part is, we’ve got nearly everything at our fingertips; we’re just not thinking outside the box. Here are just a few examples of how we’ve already got most of what we need to make our lives simpler. Take an empty pillbox, the kind for organizing meds; you’ve most likely got one laying around in some drawer. These plastic boxes are game-changers for organizing earrings, saving us valuable time in the morning. Another great hack is pouring Coca-Cola down a clogged toilet, and voila, the clog is gone. So get ready to be amazed at how easy it is to sail through life’s little annoyances while righting simple wrongs that have irked us needlessly.

Most of Us Have Been Flossing Wrong

Keeping our pearly whites healthy requires vigilant care. Brushing regularly and flossing are a must and shouldn’t be overlooked. Flossing, in theory, is simple, but not really. When trying to clean the teeth in the back of our mouths, we often encounter difficulties.

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Here’s a great solution and a money-saver. This little hack will do away with the need to purchase those pricey flossing sticks, and more money in our pocket is always welcome. Simply tie both ends of the floss together. This enables a sturdier grip, allowing us to get back to those hard-to-reach areas. Score!

The Correct Way To use Toilet Seat Covers

We get it; public bathrooms are to be avoided at all costs. In reality, though, we often find ourselves needing to venture into one, like it or not. This little tip is for those who aren’t sure how to use those disposable seat covers properly. Apparently, most people use them wrong, so don’t feel too bad.

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The goal here is to keep that flap part in the cover over the front of the bowl—Yup, that annoying flap that we usually tear off before sitting down. The paper flap, when used as in the image above, prevents us from touching the actual bowl. It’s also designed that way, so when you flush the toilet, it entirely washes away. Give it a try, and you’ll understand what we mean.

Simple Hack for Hangers

This simple hack has been staring us in the face, and we can’t believe we never thought of it. Check out how a hanger or two placed together can aid in moving or packing clothes. It’s so obvious, yet genius at the same time. The simple plastic hangers are sturdy enough to easily carry large amounts of clothes from point A to B.

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By using 2 or more hangers, you’ve created a makeshift clothing rod. We suggest tying the hangers together for more stability. Zip ties work great for this. . This makes hanging clothes in the closet a cinch. No need to fold or remove from hangers; just move them from place to place. This hack can also work in packing boxes meant for hanging clothes. You’re welcome!

The Ideal Way To Organize Cables

Many of us can identify with this one. We know the frustration of removing a cable or wire behind our sound or tv system and then can’t remember what’s it’s or where it goes. This is an easy fix that will save frustration in the future. All that’s required here are the plastic tab-like discs that come on most packaged loaves of bread.

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By labeling the tabs and adding them to the correlating cable, you’ll never stare at it aimlessly again. It’s great for those areas that have lots of wires sticking out. Use this handy hack for cable boxes, stereo systems, computers, screens, and printers, to name just a few. Just be sure to use permanent markers, so they don’t rub off or fade away.

We’ve Been Using Chinese Take-Out Boxes All Wrong

Sometimes cooking a homecooked meal is more effort than we can handle. Chinese take-out is a great way to have a delicious dinner and do away with meal prep and clean up. Yup, clean up, meaning no extra dishes. We were floored to find out that we’ve just been tossing those white boxes instead of using them as intended.

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We were surprised to find out that these boxes are meant to be opened up and used as disposable serving plates. Okay, close your mouth and continue reading. Yes, the design wasn’t just for toting the food home, but also for serving. They are also meant to be folded back up for storing leftovers.

Oh, So That’s What the Hole is For

Most of us have one of those plastic spaghetti spoons thrown in one of our kitchen drawers. If we’re one of those that do use it, we’re probably not using it correctly. You know the ones we’re talking about, the ones with the hole, like in the image below. Okay, so we were surprised that there’s a reason for that hole, and it’s not for draining the pasta.

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The spoon, when used properly, is to measure the pasta per serving. That’s right; the hole is meant to control portions. When filled with dry pasta, it equals one portion. Meaning if we’re preparing spaghetti for four, we need to measure the pasta in the hole four times. Disclaimer, it is still okay to just dump a box of pasta straight into the boiling water, but we may be tossing out more food than needed. Think about it next time you plan pasta night.

Later, Rinse, Repeat Isn’t Necessarily Correct

Surely it’s not possible we’ve been shampooing the wrong way this whole time. We’re not that dumb; we can read the simple directions. It clearly says ‘lather, rinse, repeat,’ simple enough, no? Well, it’s almost correct. Listen up; it’s not ideal to lather our entire mane; it may even cause damage and drying to the ends of our hair.

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When shampooing, attention needs to be paid to the scalp more than anywhere else. This scalp is where oils are released, resulting in dull, lifeless hair. There is no need to focus on the lower part or even the ends, which tend to split and dry out with too many products. Not only will this hack protect your hair, but it’ll also speed up shower time, which isn’t a bad thing.

Getting the Most Out Of Peanut Butter

Nothing beats opening a new jar of peanut butter. The smell, the taste, the benefits, pass the peanut butter, please. Most people know that going organic whenever possible is optimal. We agree, but there are a couple of downsides to this as well. We’re not talking cost; nope, we’re talking about the actual product. Anyone who ever brought home a jar of the good stuff knows what we’re talking about.

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The organic version, after opening, tends to develop a layer of thick peanut oil at the top. This makes the PB hard to look at and even harder to spread properly. Don’t toss it out; simply store it upside down after each use. Yup, that’s it, problem solved. Next time you use it, turn it right side up, and the contents are mixed again and ready for use. Gotta love the quick and simple hack.

Most of Us Have Been Using the Pull-Back Tab All Wrong

Interesting trivia, the pull-back tab was invented in 1959. It came onto the market in 1962 and is in use to this day. The design is simple and straightforward, yet most of us don’t use them correctly. That’s right, there’s a reason for the hole in the tab, and we’re about to blow your mind.

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That familiar tab that easily opens our favorite canned drink is also meant to help us hold the straw in place. For the soda drinkers out there, we know the annoying problem of floating straws that never stay put. That’s exactly what the tab was designed to correct. Although now that plastic straws are bad for the earth, they might need to rethink the tab altogether.

This Cooking Hack Made Us Go’Wow’

While cooking, we all use wooden, metal, or plastic spoons, nothing unusual about that. For the most part, we either leave the cooking utensil on the counter or in the pot. Here’s a hack that will prevent counter spills and spoons from heating up too much.

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Take a look at the pot or pan you’re using, there’s a little hole at the end of the handle. That hole isn’t just for hanging the pots; it’s also designed to keep the spoon in place and cool to the touch. The added bonus is it also keeps your counter clean.

There’s a Plunger For Every Clog

Sinks and toilets that are stopped up can ruin one’s day. Having the right plunger around to solve the problem isn’t so clear-cut. We were surprised to learn that there’s a variety of plungers on the market. We’re here today to make sure you’re well prepared, so pay attention.

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In general, here are the basics when it comes to plungers. Flat plungers work best for clogged sinks, providing better suction and efficacy. For nasty clogs in the bathroom, the preferred choice is the plunger with a bulb-like shape and smaller opening. This is designed to fit the opening in the toilet and makes dislodging clogs easier. We do suggest having both types at home to save time and aggravation.

A Different Pair of Earring For Each Day

Pillboxes are a great hack for so many things. They are normally made of sturdy plastic and have secure closures to keep contents from falling out. We came up with lots of uses for these handy containers that are found in nearly every home. One great idea was to store jewelry, keeping them organized and within easy reach.

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While it’s also great for rings, necklaces, and bracelets, we were most pleased with earrings. Many of us can relate to feeling rushed in the morning and rifling through our jewelry box to find a missing earring. This easy hack does away with that morning ritual. It might also help us remember which pair we wore on which day if the pillbox has days of the week labeled inside.

The Tic Tac Box Design Has a Real Purpose

Everyone’s favorite mint, Tic Tacs, has been around since 1969. They only got their name in 1970, due to the clicking sound made when the box was in our pocket or handbag. We were surprised to find out the box of mints we’ve come to recognize has a design feature, which most of us don’t even know about, let alone use.

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Next time you pull out your box of Tic Tacs, pay attention to the flip-top opening. Look at the protruding oval shape, and now you get it. The top of the box was designed to hold one mint at a time. Let’s be honest though, most of us simply pour several mints into our hands and just pop them all into our mouths. We’re confident you’ll notice this next time you open a box of Tic Tacs.

No More Crying Over Spilled Milk

The simplicity of this hack is embarrassing to some. Some of us in the office were surprised at the fact that we’ve been pouring milk wrong forever. We all thought splashing drops of milk, resulting in wet counters, was a fact of life. Boy, were we wrong.

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This hack applies to boxes of milk, broth, juice, or any liquid that have screw-tops, as seen in this image. To prevent splashing and unwanted spills, simply turn the box the other way, and voila, no more spills. It only makes sense that air is now able to enter the opening, allowing for a smoother flow of the liquid. It’s basic science, but the majority of us don’t think about it. Maybe because it’s early morning, we’re preparing our coffee, and we’re not yet fully awake. Yeah, let’s go with that excuse.

Considering Spending a Little More on Hangers

It’s a fact; hangers are present in every home. They’re used to hang clothes, and there really isn’t an alternative to this basic must-have. Sure, there are all kinds of hangers, we get free ones from the dry cleaners or buy them when we need more. Understanding why there are various kinds should help in deciding which are best for us. We’re families with wire, plastic, satin, and even wood. They come in all price ranges, which just leaves us more confused.

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Let’s make the decision process easier. Go for the wooden version. Wood hangers are the best, no bones about it. Wooden hangers naturally repel moths, last longer, and just look better in our closets. They tend to aid in clothes retaining their shape, as opposed to wire or plastic ones. They naturally smell better and are the way to go. Yes, they cost more, but in the long run, they’re the better choice.

Coke to Quench Our Thirst and Unclog our Toilets

We are not here to discuss the reasons why we should switch to water and stay away from soft drinks. Well, maybe just a little. It is food for thought that two liters of room temperature Coca-Cola can unclog a backed-up toilet, and we drink it regularly. Again, no judging, but just think about it.

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So if you can’t find the toilet plunger and the toilet’s clogged, consider pouring a two-liter bottle of the stuff and then waiting 90 minutes – two hours. The soda contains phosphoric acid that dissolves materials that could be clogging the toilet. Again, what it’s doing inside our bodies is another topic altogether. Okay, we’re being a little judgy; we can’t help it. Just swap out a glass or two a day for water, and we’ll get off your back.

Squirt Proof Juice Boxes

Young kids love sipping juice out of these boxes. It’s part of growing up. It’s also a part of childhood when these boxes are squeezed just enough that the juice sprays all over. Kids might find the humor in this, adults less so. It is possible to prevent this from happening, which means Jr. drinks all the juice, and parents are happy that sticky surfaces aren’t a result.

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This hack is so simple and effective, it should be labeled right on the box. Just pull out the folded cardboard flaps so that they stick out, as the image above illustrates. Now there’s more room for the box to be squeezed and manhandled, yet no liquid squirts out. Kids might find it less fun, but that’s a small price to pay.

A Hack for Airing Out Your Shoes

This great hack only works with those backpacks that have sewn-on patches, as seen below. They’re the perfect place for carrying an extra pair of shoes or to let them air out while at work in our dressier shoes. Many of us bike to work in comfortable shoes while bringing appropriate shoes we change into after getting to the office.

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It also keeps sweat and odor out of our bags, allowing them to air out properly. This hack is great for those who go to the gym for a workout before heading to work, or to Zumba, or yoga; you get the idea. Always great to have our favorite exercise shoes on hand for a quick workout, be it before or after hours.

Ice Cold Water Never Tasted So Good

As much as we try to go green and use water bottles, hot days might prevent us from doing so. Think about the summer months, when the ice doesn’t last as long as we’d like it to. Warm water on a hot day sounds less than appealing. This hack is a must for us lovers of ice-cold drinks throughout the day.

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First, make sure your water bottle is suited for the freezer. Fill the bottle halfway with water and then lay it on its side in the freezer the night before. This allows the water to freeze fully while leaving plenty of space to still fill up with water, juice, or even coffee. It also stays colder hours longer than just adding a few cubes. Try it, and you won’t be disappointed.

Yogurt Spoon Hack

While this hack isn’t ideal, it does work. This is the perfect hack for when we’ve got our yogurt but forgot the grab a spoon. Simply make a spoon using the pull-off lid from the yogurt container. Yep, that’s right, take the thick foil-like top and shape it into a spoon; it’s not that hard.

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While it’s not the best choice, it’s better than trying to slurp a tub of thick greek yogurt, which isn’t easy to do. It can also get messy trying to drink a fruit-filled yogurt that was intended to be consumed with a spoon. This works for pudding and apple sauce as well. However, our tip of the day would be not to forget the spoon.

Car Manufacturers Created Their Own Hack

Whether it’s a new or used car, the first time we fill up gas we need to know where the gas tank is. Few things are more frustrating than pulling up to the gas pump and realizing the tank is on the other side of the car. Sure it’s not the end of the world, but we’re sure we would hear other drivers giggling at us.

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Here’s something a lot of drivers know, but not all, maybe not even you. Next time you’re in your car, look at the gas gauge, specifically the gas pump icon, and you’ll likely spot an arrow next to it. That arrow tells you what side the tank is on. If we’re lucky, we learned this in driver’s- ed, or our parents alerted us to this, or we did it for you right now.

Set It and Forget It

For many cooks, the slow-cooker is a gift from the culinary gods. It can take any cheap cut of meat and make it melt in the mouth tender. The genius of this appliance is that it’s simple to use and requires little to no assistance. You literally dump in the ingredients, turn it on, place the lid and forget about it.

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The hack here, which pretty much guarantees success, is not to remove the lid during the cooking process. The low temp and long cooking hours are what softens even the toughest cut of meat. By opening the lid, we’re allowing the temp to drop drastically, requiring much more time to heat back up. Easy enough to remember one rule, do not open the lid! Bon appetite!

More Uses for the Vegetable Peelers

Nearly every kitchen has a vegetable peeler. If we choose to use them or not, that’s another story. These handy little gadgets are great for peeling potatoes, apples, and other produce. We were pretty confident that we knew what this basic kitchen tool could do until today, that is.

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We bet you didn’t know the peeler can be used to slice onions. We sure didn’t. Everyone knows that slicing onions almost always comes with tears. Sure there are tons of remedies out there to stop your eyes from watering up. We’ve heard of whistling while slicing or running water at the same time, but these don’t always work. Check out this method of slicing onions. While we can’t guarantee you won’t tear up, we can suggest it as an alternative.

Homemade Ice Packs

This hack was given a thumbs up by one of the writers on our team. We love ideas that save money and can be done with what is easily on hand. Sure we know that it’s easy to run out and buy those pricey ice packs, but that’s not why we’re here today. These colorful ice packs were made with sponges we had lying around under our kitchen sink.

Image Courtesy of Bob Vila

Nothing easier than wetting some sponges and freezing them in ziplock bags. These are ready to use for sprains, burns, or any light injury. To prevent freezer burns, wrap them first in a small towel or cloth and place on the body part requiring relief. We like the colored sponges in comparison to the blue gel packs we’re familiar with.

That’s One Way to Get More Bang For Your Buck

Summer and frozen Slurpee drinks go hand in hand. But these frozen sugary treats are pretty pricey. They usually run upwards of $3.50, and considering what’s in them, that is pretty much a rip-off. Here’s a hack to get some of that sweet frozen elixir, and no one’s the wiser.

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You know how it works; you pay for the cup at the counter and then fill up the cup yourself. On your next visit, ask for that round plastic lid, aka the convex lid. It’s dome-shaped and used to cover the Slurpee after filling. Proceed to fill the lid to almost the top, but not quite, then place the lid UPSIDE down and then continue filling. You’ll get significantly more than without the lid, and no one can fault you for it.

Getting Your Daily Dose of Vitamin C

We’ve seen celebrity chefs cutting oranges so easily and have yearned to be able to copy them. This little hack is a great way to separate the wedges while impressing your friends at the same time. It also makes the fruit easier to enjoy when each section is easily separated.

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The best part of this hack lies in its simplicity. Take the orange and slice the top and bottom away. Cut down the center and pry it open. You should get the result as seen in this image. Less messy and sticky than trying to peel it the old-fashioned way. Easier to share this way as well.

Stress Free Foil Wrapping

Using aluminum foil isn’t all that difficult. It comes in a handy box with a serrated edge to help us cut just what we need. Simple, we told you. Not so simple, though; sometimes the roll doesn’t cooperate with us, and the foil tears down the middle. We’ve all been there, and we know how this feels.

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Nearly all foil boxes contain these side tabs that we don’t normally pay attention to. This hack is intentional, and we need to take advantage of it. Simply press the tabs in, and you’ll see the roll becomes steady and easier to use. This hack prevents the roll from tumbling out of the box, and getting just the right amount of foil becomes a lot easier.

Creative Hack to Fill the Pail

This is one of the better hacks we’ve come across. So many of us had instances where sinks are small and filling a bucket is impossible to do. So we were more than happy to learn about this simple and easy-to-make solution.

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This simple hack only requires a clean dustpan. Angling the dustpan just so might require a few tries, but you get the idea. The water is routed directly into the pail or bucket nearby. This is a great solution for when we need buckets of water for cleaning or storing water.

An Ounce of Prevention

Nothing ruins your day at the pool or beach more than when your phone gets wet. We all know how much we depend on our trusty phone, and having it fall into a pool is simply too much to bear for most folks. This hack is so simple, yet we’ve never come across it before, till today.

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Next time, when heading to the pool or beach, make sure to pack a clean plastic jar or container with a lid. When you’re laying out your towel, and smearing yourself with sunblock, make sure to protect your phone and keys as well. By placing your valuables in this waterproof container, you’ll feel a real sense of relief. It’s so simple; we can’t believe we’ve never come across this tip before.

So That’s What That Loop is For!

Anyone who has ever ironed a dress-shirt knows about these. Those who don’t iron have definitely seen them; we just never knew what they were for. We’re talking about those annoying loops on the back of many shirts, as seen in the photo below. We were pretty surprised to find out that they were placed there for travel and packing purposes.

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It’s used for hanging up on hooks when there’s a shortage of hangers in your hotel. Seriously, we’re not kidding. It makes sense, we guess, but still, we wonder if anyone even knows this and uses them as intended. We did not know about this, and have honestly never tried to hang them from these loops. We’re still scratching our heads on this one.

The Button Makes Sense, the Patch Less

Many of us are familiar with those little baggies of buttons that come attached to our clothes. We find them attached to our new purchases and try to remember where we toss them. Many of those baggies also contain cloth swatches from the same fabric of the recently purchased goody. Those were a little more confusing.

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We were slightly amused to find out why these were included. They are meant to be used as test patches for various detergents or fabric softeners. It’s the clothing designer’s way of allowing you to test cleaning the fabric, and to prevent you from ruining your new favorite blouse. While we thought it slightly odd, we also appreciated the attention to preserving the article of clothing.

Coasters or Lids, You Decide

The hacks listed here are to show how mundane everyday items can be transformed and used in other ways. So let’s now focus on the pesky lids we get that cover our soft drinks. You know what we’re talking about; they hold the straw in place while keeping the drink from spilling out the container.

Image Courtesy of Coke Store

But did you know that these lids were intended for dual use? No, well, that’s okay, neither did we. It just so happens those lids were also designed to be used as coasters for that same cup. By placing them as seen in the image, you will prevent water rings from forming on the table. This just proves the old saying, ‘You learn something new every day.’

You’re Never Too Old To Learn

We all remember when we were younger and learned to tie our laces. We experience such a feeling of accomplishment. Believe it or not, we still on occasion need to go back and learn the basics, even as adults. Many of us purchase pricey sneakers but don’t always lace them properly.

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Go ahead check out yours at home. A lot of us are guilty of leaving those side holes unlaced, but we should reconsider. These holes are there for a reason. They’re intended to be used as they to grip our feet better when the shoes are laced properly. They are meant to be used to prevent injuries and offer more support.

Clump-Free Mascara

This hack is not only easy; it should be listed on the back of every mascara package. We all know how annoying dried-out mascara can be; we bet you didn’t know that we’re mostly to blame for the mascara drying out in the first place. This happens each time we pump the wand in and out before using it; it allows air to enter into the container.

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In short, the hack here is to stop pumping the wand back and forth. That and closing it properly after each use. This also prevents clumps from forming in the tube. We told you this was an easy one; we just wish it was clearly stated on the packaging. This might be a way for the cosmetic big-wigs to get us to buy more. Let’s show them we’re smarter.

So That Drawer Does More Than Just Store Pans

Many of us think we know everything there is to know about kitchen appliances. Fridges, dishwashers, and blenders are pretty easy to figure out. About blenders though, we will learn how to use those more efficiently, thanks to this article. Let’s concentrate now on the trusted kitchen oven. We’re talking about the ones that have a bottom drawer that stores extra trays and pans. FYI, it wasn’t meant to be used for storage. Hold on, what’s that now?

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That drawer, dear readers, is, in fact a warming compartment and not meant as extra storage space. That’s right; it’s a warming drawer meant to keep food warm and ready for serving. If you’re done cooking with the oven, turn it off, and then place the trays in the bottom drawer, where it remains warm for several hours. Its temperature is received from the oven’s heat and can retain the desired warmth for several hours.

Finding the Sweetspot

This hack is more a company secret that they might have been trying to keep from us. We all know the frustration of trying to dispense ketchup from both glass or squeeze bottles properly. We even believe it’s a scam to make us toss away the bottle before its time, just because we can’t get more of the good stuff out.

Image Courtesy of NY Times

Well, it’s not a ploy to urge us to buy more products. At least that’s what we hope. Here’s the scoop to get every last drop of the rich red ketchup out of each container. This works specifically for Heinz ketchup, so pay attention. Look for the number on the bottle, by the neck or opening of the bottle. This is the pressure point for the squeeze bottle. For glass bottles, it’s the same spot; simply tap the bottle there and get ready to see a steady stream of the thick stuff pour out. The secret’s out of the bag now.

More Isn’t Always Better

We’ve all heard the saying, ‘less is more,’ this applies to toothpaste as well. For some reason, most people disregard the simple instructions about using a pea-size amount to brush one’s teeth. We get it, but much like laundry detergent, there’s really no reason to use more or less than recommended.

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It really is a matter of throwing money down the drain, literally. Using more than the suggested amount has zero effect on cleaning your teeth. We tend to go by what we see on TV and how they seem to load up the toothbrush like it’s cake frosting. Folks, save your money and repeat after us, ‘more isn’t better, it’s just more.’

Headrest Is Also A Life Saving Device

Sure, headrests in cars are used and adjusted for maximum comfort. They also have another purpose not always listed in the car’s manual. To make sure it can be used in an emergency, it’s important first to make sure that yours is up to code. Go ahead and check and make sure you know how to remove the headrest from its position above the seat.

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This hack can be used when you’re trapped in a car, and the doors won’t open. Remove the headrest, usually done by pressing a button. Now that it’s released, you can use the metal part to break the window and exit the car. FYI, the issue of this design being intentional has been debated for decades; nothing has been confirmed or denied. All we know is that in case of emergency, this is an effective way to break the glass and exit the car, if needed.

The Staple Remover Finds Another Purpose in Life

In a society that is becoming greener, we’re seeing less paper being used. Less paper also means less need for a stapler, resulting in even less need for staple removers. Only a true hacker knows how to reuse items that may no longer serve their intended purpose. This hack is a welcome convenience for adding or removing keys from keyrings.

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We all know how annoying placing keys on a keyring can be. We’ve broken nails, used knives, and basically struggled to get them on and off. Using the remover to pry open the ring allow us to easily add or remove keys without jeopardizing our manicure in the process. This one got a unanimous thumbs up from our team. We like!

Even Bobby Pins Have Guide Lines

We all remember using bobby pins to keep our hair in place. What we never knew is that there’s a way to use them properly. When used correctly, these pins are mean to tame wild stray hair and remain in place. Let’s see what the manufacturer suggests and decide for ourselves if we’ve been doing it wrong or not.

Image Courtesy of Cosmopolitan

Look at the pin; notice it’s got a flat edge and a wavy edge. The flat edge is to face the scalp, but the wavy edge is on top. By doing this, we’re ensuring the hair accessory stays in place. Okay, we have to admit, most of those we quizzed knew how to do it correctly. This bunch never bothered to read the instruction, as it was pretty clear. Most claimed it’s basic. We’re in agreement; this hack is for the uninformed.

Remember the Basics When Using the Blender

Many of us love our modern appliances. We can’t imagine living without a dishwasher, mixer, coffee maker, and even our blender. Using these items is pretty straightforward, or so we think. Now we will take a moment to focus on the blender. Seems pretty simple; just dump in the ingredients and blend, right?

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So here’s a hack to achieve maximum blending results. Place liquids in first, cover the carafe, hit blend for several seconds, stop and wait. Now go ahead and add the solid ingredients. It’s more science than anything else. The weight of the solid ingredients will be drawn to the blades during the blending, resulting in a much smoother emulsion. We’ll give this one a try next time we’re making a smoothie.

Hand Me the Measuring Tape, Please

Confession time, we checked this out during the writing of this article. We’ve all had an occasion that required the use of a measuring tape. We also admit we don’t really pay all that much attention to how it’s designed or noticed any of the markings on the actual tape measure. We just measure what we need, snap it shut, and we’re done.

Image Courtesy of Mint 360 Property

Now go on, get that handy little measuring device out of the junk drawer, open it up, say about 20 inches. Notice that diamond-shaped mark at the 19.2-inch point? These markings are used to help you locate studs in the wall. While most of us don’t know this, this is used to show us that for each eight-foot section of wall, there are six studs every sixteen inches. We’ll never look at that tape the same again. Wow, simply wow.

Ketchup Containers Used Right Can Protect the Planet

This hack is similar to the Chinese take-out containers. We’ve just been using them all wrong. Many places offer paper-like containers for dispensing ketchup or mustard. Doing away with pre-packaged and costlier versions. We usually take a few containers and fill them up; no biggie. Um, not so quick, because we’ve probably been doing it wrong all this time.

Image Courtesy of Mona Giza

Check out the image above; notice the folds in the container. We’re supposed to open them up a bit if we want more sauce. We don’t know about you, but our minds were blown by this simple hack. Remember this valuable hack next time you’re loading up on sauces. This results in less waste, and our planet will thank you as well.

Drivers, Pay Attention

Let’s face it, many of us remember driving before Waze and Google Maps. We had to use signs and look at maps. Our tip here is to think back to this time and rely a little less on modern technology. Many of us know how annoying it can be in areas where wifi isn’t ideal, and there’s simply no reception. This is exactly why we need to pay attention to signs and how to drive accordingly.

Image courtesy of impremedia.net

The placement of signs on the freeway is set up specifically to guide us. By paying attention to the arrows, we understand what lane we need to be in, so as not to miss an exit. Their location is placed to give us ample time to move to the correct lane. Sure it’s easier to listen to spoken instructions on our phone or satellite system, but this basic skill is needed as well, just in case.

Look to Monkeys When Peeling Bananas

Just when we thought we knew what we were doing, we find out we’ve been doing it all wrong. For example, peeling a banana, a no-brainer, right? Um, guess what, we’ve been doing it wrong. Look at how monkeys peel bananas, and you’ll see we’ve been struggling needlessly.

Image Courtesy of Live Science

While we snap the top of the banana and peel, monkeys start at the base of the banana. They squeeze the base of the fruit and bite down as the fruit is exposed. We cannot wait to try this out. Although, even if it works better, we think that how we have been doing it up til now will be a hard habit to break. This could be a great talking item at a party where the conversation seems to be stalled. Give it a try.

Use Baking Soda OR Vinegar, Not Both

Many of us can remember back to elementary school when we first witnessed how vinegar and baking soda react when mixed. Sure, it’s great for creating a volcano for our science project. It’s not recommended to combine these two when cleaning the house. Now use these ingredients on their own, and you’ll be pleased with the results.

Image Courtesy of homedesignpicture.net

We’ve all heard the wonders of vinegar for cleaning. Important to remember that vinegar needs to be diluted in water when preparing a natural cleaner. Vinegar is great for cleaning grime, dirt and even for getting stains out of fabric. Important to use white vinegar that contains 5% acidity and mix with water. Baking soda on its own also works great for removing odors, scrubbing pots, and a multitude of other chores around the home. Our favorite tip is to sprinkle some in the cat litter box to remove offensive odors.

The Mouse That Needs a Watch

Like most hacks, we only learn about them if they’re successful. This hack had to be tried and proven before we’d tell you about it. It works, so here you go. Many of us like to take breaks while working on the computer, but we don’t like it when our computer locks up, requiring us to log back in. When a mouse sits untouched for a length of time, the computer can lock itself, requiring us to log back in.

Image Courtesy of Brain Sharper

Here’s a trick to prevent the computer from locking up. Place your watch just under the mouse. Yup, that’s right. The watch with moveable hands tells the mouse that movement is happening and to keep the screen on. This is best for those not in sensitive environments, like at home or in our office. We don’t recommend this tip when there’s important information you don’t want others to see.

The Instructions Are There For a Reason

While preparing this article, we were a bit surprised at how many people don’t follow simple instructions. Take, for example, laundry detergent. Read the instructions, and it’s simple to understand just how much to use to get the load clean. The manufacturer has done the work for us, so let’s not think we’re inventing the lightbulb here.

Image Courtesy of wanelo.com

It’s a fact that using too much or too little detergent won’t yield the wanted results. When instructed to use only 1/2 a cap of liquid, don’t think a full cap will clean better; it won’t. It’ll just result in clothes retaining more detergent, and that’s a waste of money. Using too little will result in fewer cleaning agents to do the job, requiring an additional wash. It’s elementary, just follow the instructions.

A Great Recyling Hack

We’re here to show you ways to save money and prevent waste. This little hack does both, so listen up. Don’t be so quick to rush and purchase items that offer resealable bags or containers; they usually cost more. We have a free solution that offers the exact same result.

Image Courtesy of Tech E Blog

Take an empty and recycle-friendly bottle, think soft drink type, cut off the top part, some 6 cm from the top. Make sure to keep the bottle cap as well. Look at the image to guide you. Pull the open bag through the plastic opening and wrap it around the open part; now screw the cap. This simple hack will keep food fresher, longer.

Shopping Carts Were Designed to Keep Eggs and Other Delicates Unharmed

For some, the design of a shopping cart isn’t even a thought. We simply grab one and are focused on not forgetting eggs or milk. We were impressed to find out that much thought goes into designing a shopping cart. It’s not just a rolling container that we’re supposed to fill to the brim. Check out this pic to better understand the forethought that made up this cart.

Image Courtesy of science-a2z.com

Pay attention to the loops that are to be used as hooks to hang eggs or other breakables. It’s also used to keep bread from being crushed. Up to now, the majority of us thought that this simple cart only included a seat to keep our bag or child in place. Let’s remember the thought that went into this next time we’re doing our weekly shopping and try to use it as designed.

So That’s What That Thing is For!?

Most offices and homes have these flying around in our junk drawers. We’re talking about the box-cutter. We use them to open boxes, to cut through ties, and so on. What most people don’t realize is that box-cutters were designed specifically to keep us safe. Go on, take a look. Notice the roundish plastic edge, go ahead and pull it off and look at it.

Image Courtesy of 5 Minute Crafts/YouTube

That plastic thingy or cap is specially designed to break off the dull part of the blade. Yes, the blade is meant to be used even after it’s become dull. Notice the lines in the blade, and now look at the cap, and now look at the image. And now the lightbulb has gone off in your head. Warning: Now that you’ve figured out how to use this item properly, make sure to dispose of used blades with care to prevent injuries.